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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 97-103

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Special Custom for the Month of Elul and High Holidays
The Baal Shem Tov instituted a custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
See below for today's additional chapters.
Chapter 97
1. When the Lord will reveal His kingship, the earth will exult; the multitudes of islands will rejoice.
2. Clouds and dense darkness will surround Him; justice and mercy will be the foundation of His throne.
3. Fire will go before Him and consume His foes all around.
4. His lightnings will illuminate the world; the earth will see and tremble.
5. The mountains will melt like wax before the Lord, before the Master of all the earth.
6. The heavens will declare His justice, and all the nations will behold His glory.
7. All who worship graven images, who take pride in idols, will be ashamed; all idol worshippers will prostrate themselves before Him.
8. Zion will hear and rejoice, the towns of Judah will exult, because of Your judgments, O Lord.
9. For You, Lord, transcend all the earth; You are exceedingly exalted above all the supernal beings.
10. You who love the Lord, hate evil; He watches over the souls of His pious ones, He saves them from the hand of the wicked.
11. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
12. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and extol His holy Name.

Chapter 98
This psalm describes how Israel will praise God for the Redemption.
1. A psalm. Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has performed wonders; His right hand and holy arm have wrought deliverance for Him.
2. The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His justice before the eyes of the nations.
3. He has remembered His kindness and faithfulness to the House of Israel; all, from the farthest corners of the earth, witnessed the deliverance by our God.
4. Raise your voices in jubilation to the Lord, all the earth; burst into joyous song and chanting.
5. Sing to the Lord with a harp, with a harp and the sound of song.
6. With trumpets and the sound of the shofar, jubilate before the King, the Lord.
7. The sea and its fullness will roar in joy, the earth and its inhabitants.
8. The rivers will clap their hands, the mountains will sing together.
9. [They will rejoice] before the Lord, for He has come to judge the earth; He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with righteousness.

Chapter 99
This psalm refers to the wars of Gog and Magog, which will precede the Redemption.
1. When the Lord will reveal His kingship, the nations will tremble; the earth will quake before Him Who is enthroned upon the cherubim,
2. [before] the Lord Who is in Zion, Who is great and exalted above all the peoples.
3. They will extol Your Name which is great, awesome and holy.
4. And [they will praise] the might of the King Who loves justice. You have established uprightness; You have made [the laws of] justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5. Exalt the Lord our God, and bow down at His footstool; He is holy.
6. Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who invoke His Name, would call upon the Lord and He would answer them.
7. He would speak to them from a pillar of cloud; they observed His testimonies and the decrees which He gave them.
8. Lord our God, You have answered them; You were a forgiving God for their sake, yet bringing retribution for their own misdeeds.
9. Exalt the Lord our God, and bow down at His holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

Chapter 100
This psalm inspires the hearts of those who suffer in this world. Let them, nevertheless, serve God with joy, for all is for their good, as in the verse: "He whom God loves does He chastise." The psalm also refers to the thanksgiving sacrifice-the only sacrifice to be offered in the Messianic era.
1. A psalm of thanksgiving. Let all the earth sing in jubilation to the Lord.
2. Serve the Lord with joy; come before Him with exultation.
3. Know that the Lord is God; He has made us and we are His, His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4. Enter His gates with gratitude, His courtyards with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name.
5. For the Lord is good; His kindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness is for all generations.

Chapter 101
This psalm speaks of David's secluding himself from others, and of his virtuous conduct even in his own home.
1. By David, a psalm. I will sing of [Your] kindness and justice; to You, O Lord, will I chant praise!
2. I will pay heed to the path of integrity-O when will it come to me? I shall walk with the innocence of my heart [even] within my house.
3. I shall not place an evil thing before my eyes; I despise the doing of wayward deeds, it does not cling to me.
4. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I shall not know evil.
5. He who slanders his fellow in secret, him will I cut down; one with haughty eyes and a lustful heart, him I cannot suffer.
6. My eyes are upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the path of integrity, he shall minister to me.
7. He that practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; the speaker of lies shall have no place before my eyes.
8. Every morning I will cut down all the wicked of the land, to excise all evildoers from the city of the Lord.

Chapter 102
An awe-inspiring prayer for the exiled, and an appropriate prayer for anyone in distress.
1. A prayer of the poor man when he is faint [with affliction], and pours out his tale of woe before the Lord.
2. O Lord, hear my prayer, let my cry reach You!
3. Hide not Your face from me on the day of my distress; turn Your ear to me; on the day that I call, answer me quickly.
4. For my days have vanished with the smoke; my bones are dried up as a hearth.
5. Smitten like grass and withered is my heart, for I have forgotten to eat my bread.
6. From the voice of my sigh, my bone cleaves to my flesh.
7. I am like the bird of the wilderness; like the owl of the wasteland have I become.
8. In haste I fled; I was like a bird, alone on a roof.
9. All day my enemies disgrace me; those who ridicule me curse using my name.1
10. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mixed my drink with tears,
11. because of Your anger and Your wrath-for You have raised me up, then cast me down.
12. My days are like the fleeting shadow; I wither away like the grass.
13. But You, Lord, will be enthroned forever, and Your remembrance is for all generations.
14. You will arise and have mercy on Zion, for it is time to be gracious to her; the appointed time has come.
15. For Your servants cherish her stones, and love her dust.
16. Then the nations will fear the Name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory,
17. when [they see that] the Lord has built Zion, He has appeared in His glory.
18. He turned to the entreaty of the prayerful, and did not despise their prayer.
19. Let this be written for the last generation, so that the newborn nation will praise the Lord.
20. For He looked down from His holy heights; from heaven, the Lord gazed upon the earth,
21. to hear the cry of the bound, to untie those who are doomed to die,
22. so that the Name of the Lord be declared in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem,
23. when nations and kingdoms will gather together to serve the Lord.
24. He weakened my strength on the way; He shortened my days.
25. I would say: "My God, do not remove me in the midst of my days! You Whose years endure through all generations.”
26. In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
27. They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like a garment; You will exchange them like a robe, and they will vanish.
28. But You remain the same; Your years will not end.
29. The children of Your servants will abide; their seed shall be established before You.

Footnotes
1.

When swearing, they would say, “If I am lying, may I become like the miserable Jews” (Metzudot).

Chapter 103
David's prayer when he was ill, this psalm is an appropriate prayer on behalf of the sick, especially when offered by the sick person himself while his soul is yet in his body. He can then bless God from his depths, body and soul. Read, and find repose for your soul.
1. By David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, His holy Name.
2. My soul, bless the Lord; forget not all His favors:
3. Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your illnesses;
4. Who redeems your life from the grave, Who crowns you with kindness and mercy;
5. Who satisfies your mouth with goodness; like the eagle, your youth is renewed.
6. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7. He made His ways known to Moses, His deeds to the Children of Israel.
8. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9. He will not contend for eternity, nor harbor ill will forever.
10. He has not dealt with us according to our transgressions, nor requited us according to our sins.
11. For as high as heaven is above the earth, so has His kindness been mighty over those who fear Him.
12. As far as the east is from the west, so has He distanced our transgressions from us.
13. As a father has compassion on his children, so has the Lord had compassion on those who fear Him.
14. For He knows our nature; He is mindful that we are but dust.
15. As for man, his days are like grass; like a flower of the field, so he sprouts.
16. When a wind passes over him, he is gone; his place recognizes him no more.
17. But the kindness of the Lord is forever and ever upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness is [secured] for children's children,
18. to those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commands to do them.
19. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingship has dominion over all.
20. Bless the Lord, you His angels who are mighty in strength, who do His bidding to obey the voice of His speech.
21. Bless the Lord, all His hosts, His servants who do His will.
22. Bless the Lord, all His works, in all the places of His dominion. My soul, bless the Lord!

Additional Three Chapters
The Baal Shem Tov instituted a custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
Today's Chapters are 58, 59 and 60.
Chapter 58
David expresses the anguish caused him by Avner and his other enemies, who justified Saul's pursuit of him.
1. For the Conductor, a plea to be spared destruction; by David, a michtam.
2. Is it true that you are mute [instead of] speaking justice? [Instead of] judging men with fairness?
3. Even with your heart you wreak injustice upon the land; you justify the violence of your hands.
4. The wicked are estranged from the womb; from birth do the speakers of falsehood stray.
5. Their venom is like the venom of a snake; like the deaf viper that closes its ear
6. so as not to hear the voice of charmers, [even] the most skillful caster of spells.
7. O God, smash their teeth in their mouth; shatter the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.
8. Let them melt like water and disappear; when He aims His arrows, may they crumble.
9. Like the snail that melts as it goes along, like the stillbirth of a woman-they never see the sun.
10. Before your tender shoots know [to become] hardened thorns, He will blast them away, as one [uprooting] with vigor and wrath.
11. The righteous one will rejoice when he sees revenge; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
12. And man will say, "There is indeed reward for the righteous; indeed there is a God Who judges in the land."
Chapter 59
This psalm speaks of the great miracle David experienced when he eluded danger by escaping through a window, unnoticed by the guards at the door. The prayers, supplications, and entreaties he offered then are recorded here.
1. For the Conductor, a plea to be spared destruction, By David, a michtam, when Saul dispatched [men], and they guarded the house in order to kill him.
2. Rescue me from my enemies, my God; raise me above those who rise against me.
3. Rescue me from evildoers, save me from men of bloodshed.
4. For behold they lie in ambush for my soul, mighty ones gather against me-not because of my sin nor my transgression, O Lord.
5. Without iniquity [on my part,] they run and prepare-awaken towards me and see!
6. And You, Lord, God of Hosts, God of Israel, wake up to remember all the nations; do not grant favor to any of the iniquitous traitors, Selah.
7. They return toward evening, they howl like the dog and circle the city.
8. Behold, they spew with their mouths, swords are in their lips, for [they say], "Who hears?”
9. But You, Lord, You laugh at them; You mock all nations.
10. [Because of] his might, I wait for You, for God is my stronghold.
11. The God of my kindness will anticipate my [need]; God will show me [the downfall] of my watchful foes.
12. Do not kill them, lest my nation forget; drive them about with Your might and impoverish them, O our Shield, my Master,
13. [for] the sin of their mouth, the word of their lips; let them be trapped by their arrogance. At the sight of their accursed state and deterioration, [people] will recount.
14. Consume them in wrath, consume them and they will be no more; and they will know that God rules in Jacob, to the ends of the earth, Selah.
15. And they will return toward evening, they will howl like the dog and circle the city.
16. They will wander about to eat; when they will not be sated they will groan.
17. As for me, I shall sing of Your might, and sing joyously of Your kindness toward morning, for You have been a stronghold to me, a refuge on the day of my distress.
18. [You are] my strength, to You I will sing, for God is my stronghold, the God of my kindness.
Chapter 60
This psalm tells of when Joab, David's general, came to Aram Naharayim for war and was asked by the people: "Are you not from the children of Jacob? What of the pact he made with Laban?" Not knowing what to answer, Joab asked the Sanhedrin. The psalm includes David's prayer for success in this war.
1. For the Conductor, on the shushan eidut. A michtam by David, to instruct,
2. when he battled with Aram Naharayim and Aram Tzovah, and Joab returned and smote Edom in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand [men].
3. O God, You forsook us, You have breached us! You grew furious-restore us!
4. You made the earth quake, You split it apart-heal its fragments, for it totters!
5. You showed Your nation harshness, You gave us benumbing wine to drink.
6. [Now] give those who fear You a banner to raise themselves, for the sake of truth, Selah.
7. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me.
8. God said with His Holy [Spirit] that I would exult; I would divide Shechem, and measure out the Valley of Succot.
9. Mine is Gilead, mine is Menasseh, and Ephraim is the stronghold of my head; Judah is my prince.
10. Moab is my washbasin, and upon Edom I will cast my shoe; for me, Philistia will sound a blast [of coronation].
11. Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me unto Edom?
12. Is it not You, God, Who has [until now] forsaken us, and did not go forth with our legions?
13. Grant us relief from the oppressor; futile is the salvation of man.
14. With God we will do valiantly, and He will trample our oppressors.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
A person should sell the roof-beams of his home to buy shoes for his feet
  –Talmud, Shabbat 129a
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